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Out of the Tap: Can I Drink That?. Presenters: Sharon Verzal, MPH, LEHP, REHS/RS Kane County Health Department Environmental Health Supervisor Kimberly.

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Presentation on theme: "Out of the Tap: Can I Drink That?. Presenters: Sharon Verzal, MPH, LEHP, REHS/RS Kane County Health Department Environmental Health Supervisor Kimberly."— Presentation transcript:

1 Out of the Tap: Can I Drink That?

2 Presenters: Sharon Verzal, MPH, LEHP, REHS/RS Kane County Health Department Environmental Health Supervisor Kimberly Harris United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5 Health Effects Specialist/Bacteriologist Ground Water and Drinking Water Branch

3 Outline Background - Sources of Water Sources of Water In Kane County How Drinking Water Sources Are Regulated Contaminant of Concerns for Kane County Children

4 What is Groundwater? Groundwater is an underground source of water Groundwater statistics

5 Groundwater vs. Surface Water There is a relationship between groundwater and surface water.

6 Hydrologic Cycle

7 Groundwater Supply Groundwater is a significant water supply source the amount of groundwater storage dwarfs our present surface water supply. Ground water is used for drinking, cooking, bathing, irrigation, mining and thermoelectric power. Groundwater is a renewable resource.

8 How do we get to Groundwater? Groundwater is tapped through wells placed in water- bearing soils and rocks beneath the surface of the earth. Adequate time is needed to allow replenishment of underlying groundwater reservoirs (aquifers); also such areas must be properly managed in order to prevent water-soluble waste products stored in these areas from infiltrating and polluting the underground supply.

9 How do we get to Groundwater?

10 Groundwater Myths The following myths continue to be perpetuated about groundwater: Groundwater moves rapidly. Groundwater migrates thousands of miles. There is no relationship between groundwater and surface water. Groundwater removed from the earth is never returned. Groundwater is mysterious and occult. Groundwater is not a significant source of water supply.

11 Kane County Drinking Water Sources Community Water System s (CWS): A regulated water system that serves the same population year- round CWS s using Surface Water (Fox River) CWS s using Ground Water (Wells) Examples: Municipalities and Mobile Home Parks Regulated by Illinois EPA Lots of monitoring requirements

12 Kane County Drinking Water Sources (contd) Non-Community Water Systems (First Classification) Non-Transient, Non-Community Water System Serves at least 25 of the same people at least 6 months per year Examples: schools, factories, office buildings, hospitals with their own water systems In Kane County - Well Water Sources Only Regulated by Illinois EPA, KCHD, IDPH Less monitoring requirements than CWSs

13 Kane County Drinking Water Sources (contd) Non-Community Water Systems : (Second Classification) Transient, Non-Community Water Systems A regulated water system that provides water to a transient population at least 60 days of the year Examples: gas stations, restaurants, or campground where people do not remain for long periods of time In Kane County - Well Water Sources Only Regulated by Illinois EPA, KCHD, IDPH Total coliform and nitrates/nitrites monitoring

14 Non-Community Water Well Regulations What does Kane County do for Non-Community Water Wells: Monitoring of sample collections Initiating new systems and ensuring old systems are properly inactivated Biennial Inspections Enforcement action when needed

15 Private Water Wells Nearly all of unincorporated Kane County is served by private water wells. Wells in Kane County vary in depth and range from 40 feet to 780 feet deep depending on the location in the county.

16 Private Water Wells Regulations Permit for construction required Who can work on a well No monitoring requirements No testing requirements Recommendations Test once per year for total coliforms and nitrates / nitrites What are total coliforms and nitrates/ nitrites Why are they important Kane County Farm Bureau

17 Private Water Wells What does Kane County offer: Permits Test kits for total coliforms and chemistry Homeowners Workshop on how the care for a well and septic system Last workshop: September 19, 2012 Mortgage Surveys for the sale or purchase of a home

18 Abandoned Water Wells The risks: Abandoned wells pose one of the greatest threats to groundwater. It provides a direct, unhindered route for pollutants to reach an aquiferan underground water supply. Properly abandoned water wells protect aquifers and drinking water of others.

19 National Primary Drinking Water Regulations Human Exposure Health Risks Contaminant Selected MCLG MCL or Treatment Technique

20 Drinking Water Regulations (contd.) Over 80 regulated standards and TT with Acute and Chronic Health Effects Adverse health effects from acute exposure Pathogens Nitrate Adverse health effects from chronic exposure Carcinogens Adverse health effects from exposure during critical periods Infants and children Elderly people Immuno-compromised individuals Highly exposed individuals (athletes and people working at strenuous occupations who drink more than 2 liters of water per day) A list of the regulated contaminants and their MCLGs, MCLs, and TTs is available at:

21 Kane County Contaminants of Concern for Children Nitrate/Nitrite Lead Copper Radium

22 Nitrates/Nitrites Primary Adult Exposure- Dietary Ingestion. Water Sources of Nitrates- naturally-occurring, fertilizers and waste. Sensitive sub-population- Bottled Feed Infants < 6 months of age where formula is prepared with tap water. NO 3 –N MCL= 10 mg/l Study estimated 40,000 infants under 6 months old living in homes with high NO 3 –N tap water.

23 Health Effect of Concern Methemoglobinemia or blue-baby syndrome (name due to bluish or lavender skin color). Nitrite converts hemoglobin to methemoglobin (unable to transport oxygen from lungs to tissues). Methemoglobin levels > 50% can quickly lead to coma or death if not recognized and treated promptly. Most At Risk: Infants under six months of age.

24 Why Are Infants Under 6 Months More Vulnerable? Stomach pH levels are higher than adults - allow for proliferation of nitrate- reducing bacteria to grow in stomach. Consume more fluids per body weight than adults. Fetal hemoglobin in infants is more rapidly oxidized than adults. Methemoglobin reductase enzyme is not completely developed in infants.

25 Nitrate/Nitrite Standards Three regulated standards: Nitrate: 10 mg/l; Nitrite: 1 mg/l Total nitrate-nitrite 10 mg/l survey by the APHA (Walton) found 278 cases in 14 States. Why dont we see more cases today? Public education efforts and well construction requirements. Public Health Messages: Condition still occurs due to widespread use of nitrate fertilizers and can quickly lead to death if not recognized/treatment appropriately. Private wells should be tested annually for nitrates/nitrites (and total coliforms). If in doubt, use bottled water for mixing formula.

26 Lead Exposure Routes for children: Paint; Lead dust; Contaminated residential soils; Contaminated drinking water; and Food. Lead in drinking water can occurs from 2 sources: Raw water (rare); or Corrosion of household plumbing materials or water service lines containing lead.

27 Health Effects of Concern Most at risk: pregnant women and their fetuses, infants and children. Adverse health effects can occur at any level of exposure. At very low levels - delay in normal physical and mental development in babies and children. Severity of health effects is dependent upon the Pb concentration, total amount consumed, and exposure duration. Because lead accumulates in the body, all sources of Pb should be controlled or eliminated.

28 Why Are Children At Greater Risk From Lead Exposure ? Children consume more water compared with body size than adults. Pb adsorption from GI tract is inversely related to age. Children put their hands in their mouths more than adults and ingest more lead. Developing fetuses and infants are more susceptible to lead brain and nerve effects due to immature BBB.

29 Lead Action Level Lead MGLG: Zero Treatment technique rather than MCL Action Level: 15 μg/l Anticipated Revisions to Lead/Copper Regulation. Recent reduction of Lead-free plumbing definition. Public Health Messages: Prevention is key If concerned, test drinking water taps Use cold water for consumption, especially for diluting baby formula Periodically remove and clean faucet aerators of particles Check that new faucets and fixtures meet new lead-free standards (look for NSF ® - 61-G certificant mark)

30 Copper Reddish metal that occurs naturally. Essential nutrient: RDA: 2 mg for adults RDA: 1 mg for < 4 yrs. Copper in food thought to be in organic form, low potential for gastric irritation. Copper in drinking water can occurs from 2 sources: raw water (rare); or corrosion of household plumbing materials or water service lines containing copper.

31 Copper Health Effect of Concern and Those Most At Risk Excess copper causes acute HE: Stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting. Children are more susceptible because: they consumer more fluids per body weight than adults. they are have a less developed metabolic capacity. Children with liver or kidney disease are at an even higher risk. Sensitive Sub-population highly susceptible to copper toxicity and accumulate excess copper in their livers (e.g., Wilsons disease).

32 Copper Action Level MCLG = 1.3 mg/l MCLG based on lowest observed adverse health effect level of 5.3 mg/l and gastrointestinal HE. Action level of 1.3 mg/l is intended to be a measure of optimal corrosion control.

33 Radium Radium is a naturally occurring radioactive element that usually is present at low levels in rocks, soils, and groundwater. Two isotopes of interest: Radium-226 and Radium- 228.

34 Health Effects Over-exposure to radium increases the risks of developing certain cancers, particularly bone cancer. Over time, radium can damage bones, tissue or genetic material.

35 How Are Children More Vulnerable? Body recognizes radium as calcium and deposits significant amounts to bones after repeated ingestion. Since children are still growing, they are at a higher risk of absorbing larger amounts of radium in their bones, especially if exposure occurs during a critical growth stage.

36 Radium Standard EPA uses a measurement called a "picocurie" to describe the amount of radium in water. Radium MCL = 5 pCi/L Costly contaminant to remove for CWSs.

37 Sources [1] National Geographic, April 2010, p. 47 [2] Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 2005, U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1344, October 2009 [3] Sustainability of Ground-water Resources, U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1186, 1999 [4] Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 2005, U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1344, October 2009 [5] "Water" map, National Geographic Society, November 1993 [6] Calculations derived from multiple sources [7] Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 2005, U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1344, October 2009 [8] Ibid. [9] Estimate prepared by the National Ground Water Association from various federal data sources at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Census [10] Estimate prepared by the National Ground Water Association from various Association- sponsored industry surveys [11] Resident population of the U.S was 296,410,404, U.S. Census [12] American Housing Survey, U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2008 [13] Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 2005, U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1344, October 2009; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Drinking Water and Ground Water Statistics 2007, March 2008 [14] U.S. Census, 1990 (best available data by state) [15] U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey 2008, November 2009, and U.S. Geological Survey, October 2009 report on 2005 water use [16] Scientific American Water 3.0, March 2008; Understanding Water Risks, World Wildlife Fund, March 2009; State of the Water Industry, TechKnowledgey Strategic Group, March 2009 [17] U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey 2008, November 2009


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